I didn’t want to let the month of July expire without getting one of these in, so lets cram this baby under the wire. Chien Ming Wang made his first MLB start since July 4th of 2009 for the Nats, and was given a rather rude welcome back to the bigs. In his first inning back, he gave up a walk to Jose Reyes, threw a WP to the next batter, and allowed 4 consecutive singles to the next 4 batters and a sac fly resulting in 4 runs. All totaled, he gave up 6 R (4 ER) on the night and allowed 8 H and 1 BB in 4 IP. Physically, he looked trim, toned and to be in terrific shape. In terms of stuff he was sitting at 91-92 with the fastball, topping out at 93. That’s enough for a sinkerballer to be effective, but a far cry from his halcyon days with the Yanks when he threw that bowling ball 2 seamer that topped out at 97 MPH. I wish him nothing but success.
I’m sure that most fans of the Yanks have already heard the sad news of Hideki Irabu, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. If you haven’t done so already, check out the always thoughtful William J’s take on his life and times.
In other news, Kerry Wood’s “cranky arm” somehow turned into a “flu bug” in the past week. Sounds to me like the Cubs are trying to keep their options open for July 31st and hoping people don’t keep track of such things. Remember how we were all convinced that Javier Vazquez is toast? Since May 15th he’s given up 32 ER in 75.1 IP (3.84 ERA) and for the month of July he went 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA. With Hunter Pence heading to the Phillies, those “serious trade talks” between the Royals and Phillies for Melky Cabrera appear to be dead. Hideki Matsui earned AL Player of the Week honors batting .571 with 2 dingers. The always quotable Johnny Damon had a few beauties this week. He said that if he is elected to the baseball HOF he’d like to go in as a Royal, and said this on passing Babe Ruth on the all time Hits list:
“It’s definitely a big deal but Babe also hit almost 500 more homers than I did,”
Year Lev W L ERA G GS IP SO WHIP H/9 SO/BB 2011 AA-A+-AAA 5 5 3.23 22 17 92.0 97 1.152 7.6 3.46
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